Beauty Pros

How Yris Palmer Built an Entrepreneurial Empire Out of Eyelash Extensions

How Yris Palmer Built an Entrepreneurial Empire Out of Eyelash Extensions

At first glance, Yris Palmer’s life looks like the product of a well-thought-out and deliberate plan that was years in the making. She travels the world by private plane; she wears designer looks straight from the runway; she’s the owner of a successful business; she’s the mother of a beautiful, young daughter (Ayla, 2). Oh — and she calls Kylie Jenner a close friend. But in reality, the 29-year-old’s monumental success was mostly a happy accident.

Palmer was born and raised (and still lives) in Los Angeles, but despite her proximity to Hollywood glam, a career in the beauty industry was the last thing on her mind. “To be honest, I didn’t really grow up with much interest in beauty,” she says. “My parents come from El Salvador, and they had a really poor background, so I never knew about beauty products, and I certainly didn’t grow up thinking I’d be in beauty.” In fact, Palmer had other ambitions: becoming a leading actress. While planning her ascent to stardom, though, she knew she’d need to find a paying job to support her — at least until Spielberg and Tarantino called. “At the time, I had just quit my job and was looking for a side hustle, and I wanted something that would give me the hours and the flexibility of my own schedule,” she explains, and just over five years ago, she found just that. 

On a visit to London at 24 years old, she noticed that all the women there had lash extensions, which made their eyes pop. Until then, the only experience she’d had with lash extensions was a negative one — she’d visited a nail salon to get them for prom, only to be met with hair glue and trauma. Despite this bad first impression, she decided to try them again, instantly fell in love, and decided to take a certified lash course across the pond. 

“I happened to be really good at it — thank god because, otherwise, I wouldn’t have a career right now,” she says with a laugh. “Once I started doing them, I fell even more in love — because making another woman feel instantly prettier was just such a good feeling.” Palmer knew that due to a flexible schedule and her natural skill, being a lash artist was the perfect job for her to pursue while focusing on acting. However, the more she did it, the more potential she saw in it as a career. “I decided to set up my business there, then return to acting as a hobby, not as my main thing,” she explains. “I’m honestly still doing that.” 

Palmer started her career in lash artistry in 2014, several years before the industry blew up. But that wasn’t the only thing that led to her success: She largely set herself apart from other lash techs by using Instagram® to her advantage. Rather than just post photos of her clients’ extensions, she made a habit of documenting both before-and-after photos. It was that practice that caught the attention of some of the world’s biggest celebrities — including Selena Gomez and Kylie Jenner — many of whom are now regulars. 

In the five years since launching her business, Palmer has opened Star Lash Beauty Bar℠ in Los Angeles whilst maintaining her CEO status of Star Lash ExtensionsTM. She’s garnered hundreds of big-name clients — seeing 75 to 100 patrons a week herself — and over half a million Instagram followers; and she’s started a family. Most impressively, though, she has been at the very forefront of the now ubiquitous eyelash trend, shifting the needle on styles and creating some of the most iconic looks of our time. She’s also helped normalize the conversation around beauty enhancement. Read on to hear all about Palmer’s entrepreneurial learning curve, how she’s used Instagram to grow her business, and what her personal lash look is all about.